The Snuffed Critique of Modernity: Adapting Brideshead Revisited for the Twenty-First Century
This thesis is an effort to understand the operation of divine grace in Evelyn Waugh’s famous queer and Catholic novel, Brideshead Revisited. I focus on the final pages and scenes of the original novel and the 2008 film adaptation, and I argue that they take different approaches to the final moments. I examine how each portrays divine grace in the lives of the characters in connection to Catholicism and the contrast of romance and religion at the center of each work. I argue that the novel holds the flame of faith at its center while the film ignites the spark of romance at the core: this difference matters because the film loses Waugh’s essential critique of the movement toward secularism in the modern world. This research fits into the critical conversation surrounding Brideshead Revisited and its 2008 film adaptation in that my argument takes on the sentiment of Gallagher and Colebatch in their criticism of the film—particularly of the treatment of God as the villain and the overarching theme of guilt that is not prevalent in the novel—while considering the question of conversion that Mooneyham presents. I claim that the 2008 film deviates significantly from the original novel, becoming a representation of the modern and secular world which is exactly what Waugh was afraid of.
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences
"The Snuffed Critique of Modernity: Adapting Brideshead Revisited for the Twenty-First Century" (2023). Stander Symposium Projects. 2782.
Presentation: 1:40-2:00 p.m., Kennedy Union 310